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of terror. >> thank you. anyone who hasn't seen the video, google it. it is put out by jpl in pasadena. we have this robot hurdling through space at 13,000 miles per hour. it weighs one ton. it is the size of a mini cooper. the pathfinder was a microwave. this is big. headed through space. the atmosphere of mars is very thin. it is not as soft and gentle an entry as it would be here on earth. within seven minutes, it needs to go from 13,000 miles per hour to zero and land gently and this elegant sequence of events need to happen perfectly to land successfully. it involves parachutes and rockets. pretty marvelous feat of engineering. a lot has been invested. i talked to scott harber today. he used to be the lead researcher. he said the mood is of confidence, but tension. a blanket of tension over the confidence. we tested all these tools as much as we can. it is time to get on up there and give it a try. it is really high stakes. >> will this actually scoop things up and get it back to us or it will collect data? >> it will collect data and transmit back to us. how we will find out if it is
for missions to mars is only about one in three. here 59 jpl they've gone 13 for 18. that's a 7: -- .720 batting average in the red planet league. even so this time the nerves are racheted higher along with the stakes. >> facing budget pressure from the white house, nasa has reduced funding for mars missions and pulled out of plans to partner with the european space agency to stage an elaborate series of missions to mars to bring a rock sample back to earth. much to the dismay of the mars science community. jim bell is president of the planetary society and also on the spirit opportunity and curiosity imaging teams. >> it's frustrating to try and understand why the administration or congress would want to stop what so many americans are incredibly proud of and has been so successful. >> one of their big apply loos is democratic congressman adam shift who represents the california district that is home to the jet propulsion lab. >> if we step back from mars now at a time when we are tantalizingly close to finding the building blocks of life on mars, it may be decades before we go back. >>
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